Digitalenergy helps Keele University unlock energy savings

All buildings have the scope to be more sustainable in their operation believe digitalenergy, and it’s developed a flexible energy management framework to help companies achieve it.

Shortlisted in the 2degrees Champions Awards 2014

The digitalenergy framework has been developed by fusing system and energy knowledge into an integrated package. When implemented organisations can unlock substantial savings on direct and indirect energy costs. Digitalenergy’s mission is to empower positive change through greater intelligence in all organisations through the application of energy management software.

digitalenergy believe that all buildings have the scope to be more sustainable in their operation, where ever they are within their life cycle. Keele University engaged digitalenergy in 2008 to develop a framework to implement its Energy Management System (EnMS) in order to achieve continual improvement in energy performance, ensuring a steady path to a 2020 reduction target. As a result, Keele’s EnMS has recently been certified to ISO 50001:2011. It is one of the first Universities in the UK to have its EnMS certified to the internationally-recognised standard.

What did you do?

When all factors were considered, it became clear that energy had to be part of the integrated process of running the university. digitalenergy implemented an Energy Management System which covered all variables affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the University. The framework covers areas as diverse as energy policy, monitoring, measuring, operational aspects and auditing. The applications implemented include:

  • Energy Management Systems (ISO50001:2011)
  • (Energy) Asset Management
  • Carbon Reduction Commitment
  • Internal Auditing
  • Display Energy Certification
  • Building Logbooks

What was the result?

Financially - with a fixed reduction target of 34% linked to University funding, rising energy costs and staff and students increasing demand for more facilities, longer opening hours and research technology, digitalenergy has helped reduce energy costs while operational costs have increased.

The framework also removes the administration burden from energy managers, as a result they save on the associated costs. Environmentally-As well as helping to manage energy better, focusing on this area also leads to environmental benefits such as reduction of carbon emissions. With the certification of ISO 50001 the future is set with continuous improvement and reductions at the heart of all activity.

To add to its environmental accolades, Keele were also ranked #1 in the first Carbon Reduction Commitment League Table published Social-Implementing the digitalenergy framework and gaining the ISO certification enhances the universities reputation for commitment to carbon reduction, something which prospective student’s factor into their choice of study. Additional benefits from an enhanced internal knowledge and communication of energy management across campus

The personal pitch

The digitalenergy framework is a new and flexible approach to energy management, with an integration of software and services to provide a unique solution that meets an individual organisation’s needs. In 2014, It is not only the cost per kWh consumed increasing, but the cost legislation and regulation through direct levy charges, most notable recently the change on the Crabon Reduction Commitment to a clear ‘Carbon Tax’. These include the increasing time commitment on compliance and the increase in risk of reputation through poor carbon performance.

The framework is unique in its approach to the collective needs of an organisation and unrivalled in its accounting of energy performance with wider asset data.

The biggest innovation and differentiation of digitalenergy is the merger of ERP level information management with the principles of energy management. Unlike traditional monitoring systems where the user has to find the savings - the savings find the user with digitalenergy.

Which suppliers, solutions, contractors or consultants helped to make the project a success?

The Estates and Development Department at Keele University has been committed to a sustainable energy strategy over many years. When Keele engaged digitalenergy in 2008 the key objectives were set as support in managing compliance and stakeholder engagement. However, the two objectives soon became one when the full implications of the Carbon Reduction Commitment were understood. With ongoing commitment and understanding from Keele University it successfully implemented their Energy Management System in less than 12months and by opting to have it certified they have proved that it stands up to scrutiny.

This article forms Digitalenergy’s submission into the Solution of the Year category of the 2degrees Champions Awards 2014. It was written and submitted by Kat Booth, Director, Echo PR.

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